Maternity Care and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Please continue to attend antenatal appointments unless advised otherwise.

If you are unsure whether to attend or if you have a temperature over 37.8 or new persistent cough, please contact your midwife.

We hope that the content below answers any questions you may have. If you have further queries, there is a dedicated telephone line for you to call if you have general queries regarding your pregnancy and COVID-19: 01952 565948 and press option 1.

Womens and Childrens entrance at Princess Royal

Birthing Partner/Visitor Restrictions

In line with national guidance we currently have visiting restrictions in place, which also apply to antenatal and postnatal care.

You can read more about these restrictions here.

Temporary changes to our Maternity Services

As a nation we have been asked to follow Government instructions on social isolation. These rules apply to our staff as well as to all those we care for, so, alongside other NHS organisations across the country, we have implemented some temporary changes to our maternity services.

These changes have been made so we can continue to provide the safest, most effective and compassionate care to everyone who needs it during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

  • Visitor access to our Women and Children’s Centre has been restricted – for more information click here.
  • Scans will not be offered at our Oswestry and Bridgnorth Midwife-Led Units, or Sutton Hill Children’s Centre. Instead, expectant mothers will attend their scan appointments at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford or the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

These are challenging times and we understand that many of our expectant mums will be feeling anxious about these exceptional measures. However, we want to reassure you that we are working hard to maintain the best care for mums and their babies, and will return as quickly and safely as possible to normal.

What These Changes Mean for Expectant Mums

  • By asking women to attend appointments for antenatal care, clinics and scans alone and without their birthing partner, we can stop overcrowding in our waiting rooms and consultation rooms and reduce the number of people that pregnant women and staff are in contact with.
  • By closing our antenatal and postnatal wards to partners and visitors we can limit the number of people expectant mums, their babies and our staff will come into contact with. We will try to get all new mums home as soon as possible, providing they and their baby are well.

We hope you will understand and support the steps we have taken to provide as much protection as possible for those using and working in our maternity services.

Further changes to our services may be necessary in the coming weeks and we will update this information at that time.

Thank you for using our services responsibly and for following the Government instructions on social isolation.

Information Leaflets

Information Leaflets for Parents can be found below:

Being Tested for Coronavirus 

At SaTH our priority is to keep you and your baby safe. That is why we are now testing all pregnant women who need to be admitted to SaTH.

This includes women who have symptoms of COVID-19 such as a cough or temperature as well as women who have no symptoms of COVID-19.

The test for COVID-19 is a simple swab taken from your nose and throat. Your results will take about 48 hrs to report. A midwife will contact you by telephone, even if the result is negative. She will also give advice on any further plans if needed.

COVID-19 positive patients will be looked after in a side room – patients will be asked to wear a mask when necessary and will have the use of separate toilets and bathrooms. COVID-19 negative patients will be cared for in a bay or area with other negative patients. Patients will have use of designated toilets and bathrooms.

Video Messages

Our Maternity Team wants to keep mums-to-be in the loop when it comes to their care, and how the coronavirus outbreak may affect it. With this in mind, they’ve created some videos to share on social media. Our Director of Midwifery, Nicola Wenlock, and Consultant Obstetrician, Mei-See Hon, kick things off with this message:

We then had a video message from one of our Specialist Midwives on Maternal Mental Health Day:

Frequently Asked Questions About Maternity Care and COVID-19

Our Maternity Services team at The Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust are currently responding to the national Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. We are very aware that some women will be concerned about their care during their pregnancy.

We hope that this list of Frequently Asked Questions will answer concerns and also advise what you need to do at this time.

Please be aware that the guidance is changing regularly. We will keep this page as up to date as possible.

There is a dedicated telephone line for you to call if you have general queries regarding your pregnancy and COVID-19: 01952 565948 and press option 1

We also recommend that you read the guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for pregnant women.

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Please call the number below anytime, leave your contact details and a midwife will call you back and complete your booking and referral over the phone:

Booking hotline 01743 261085

You will then be given an appointment to attend for your booking blood tests and also to have your blood pressure measured and a urine sample taken. You will be given your hand held notes and will also be sent an appointment for a dating scan.

You can if you wish. However, current guidance is that we should try to ensure screening tests are completed at the correct time and this is before 10 weeks of pregnancy. This is too early for an accurate dating scan. If you are unable to attend for blood tests due to self-isolating for 7-14 days then we will arrange to do your blood tests and blood pressure when you attend for the scan.

We are currently offering all of the recommended appointments. However, some of the appointments with a Consultant at the hospital may now be a telephone consultation. This is because the Consultant often doesn’t need to undertake a physical examination – they often need to talk to you about your progress and ensure an appropriate plan of care for your pregnancy and the birth of your baby is in place. This can be done over the phone. If you already have an appointment booked you will be contacted if you do not need to attend in person and when to expect a telephone call.

All appointments are being offered in the usual place. This means that if your appointment is at the GP practice this remains the same. You will be notified of any changes to your appointment as soon as possible. When you attend for your appointment please inform the receptionist that you are here and then wait outside the surgery. The midwife will telephone you when she is ready to see you. We politely request that you attend your appointment alone.

We are currently able to provide all of the recommended scans at the right time in pregnancy.

We recognise that seeing your new baby on a scan is a really exciting experience. However, at this time we have had to restrict attendance to just yourself and we are not able to allow anyone else to be present for any maternity care, except active labour and birth. This is to reduce the contact that our staff and yourself are having with people in line with the Social Distancing guidance and the NHS visiting policy during this time. You will be given a complimentary photo of your baby’s scan.

As a service we are fortunate to have a number of midwife sonographers. However, due to the some members of staff self-isolating we have seen a reduction in the number of sonographers who are able to work. As a result it has been necessary to centralise services on the main two sites to ensure that we can at, at present, provide all scans required.

We have been liaising with the National Childbirth Trust and are pleased to be able to inform that we will soon be able to offer online / virtual classes for first time mums-to-be and certain other groups of mums. Please check back here for details of how to book. We are also considering using SKYPE to deliver classes.

Free Online Classes 

The classes below have been created by NHS Professionals as part of the Solihull approach. Anyone can access the classes; from mums-to-be all the way to anyone supporting pregnant women and their families, including grandparents etc. So we’re encouraging as many people as possible to make use of them! Use he details on the poster below to register. Once registered for the course it can be done at your own time and gives you unlimited access so can go back anytime.

Antenatal Online Course – Telford & Wrekin

Antenatal Online Course – Shropshire

Postnatal Online Course – Shropshire

Postnatal Online Course – Telford & Wrekin

Free NCT Online Classes

If you are expecting your first baby, are 28 weeks plus pregnant, and are interested in attending a free NCT Parent education course via zoom, please advise your community midwife who can organise this for you. Initially the courses will be available as either 3 x two hour sessions, 2 x three hour sessions or one day session (weekends).

Unfortunately in order to protect the capacity for scans required as part of the national screening programme we are not able to provide this service at present. There are some private ultrasound services who may be able to provide this for you.

Your safety and the safety of our staff is vitally important to us and we are working to ensure that you continue to receive a high quality service from us at all times.

Where possible we have moved to telephone contact. However, this is not possible for all contacts and we have therefore adopted a number of measures designed to protect both you and our staff.

We are not seeing women with suspected or proven COVID-19 infections at the hospital unless they need to be seen as a matter of urgency.

We have robust plans in place for you if you have suspected or proven COVID-19 and we will continue to provide urgent care to you.

If your care isn’t urgent we will reschedule for a time when your symptoms have gone.

You will also be asked some questions on arrival to ensure that you do not have any symptoms. If you do you will be asked to go home and await further instruction (unless your care is urgent and we will then follow the correct pathway for you).

We have stopped all non-essential visiting and clinics within the hospital. This has reduced the number of people within the hospital significantly. This includes the maternity departments.

When you attend either your clinic or scan appointment or triage there is adequate spacing to allow for the correct social distancing.

There are hand gels provided and staff are washing their hands regularly.

Our staff are adhering to the correct national PPE guidance.

Please call maternity triage (See below) and a member of the team will advise you of the next steps appropriate to your stage of pregnancy.

Triage 01952 565948 Open every day, 24 hours a day

Please also see Tommy’s website for information about your baby’s movements.

Please call maternity triage – 01952 565948 Open every day, 24 hours a day

You can also get more information on the Tommy’s symptom checker but please do not hesitate to call us if you are concerned.

Congratulations! Your baby is on the way. Please call maternity triage and a midwife will advise you of the next steps.  They will ask some questions about you and your pregnancy. They will also ask you some questions regarding coronavirus:

  • Do you currently have a temperature or new dry cough?
  • Does anyone in your house have any symptoms?

If you answer yes to either of these questions you will be given specific advice for attending the hospital. This will include:

  • Attending via the emergency access door at the rear of the Women and Children’s Centre
  • Calling triage when you arrive
  • You will be greeted by a midwife who will be wearing a mask, gown and gloves. You and your birth partner will each be given a mask to wear for the transfer to Delivery Suite
  • You will be taken directly to a room on Delivery Suite for assessment and ongoing care.

If you do not have any symptoms or are self-isolating you will be asked to attend via the main doors of the Women’s and Children’s centre – you will need to use the intercom to gain access as the doors are now locked routinely. Our home birth service and Midwifery Led unit birth services are suspended at the moment to enable us to centralise birth care and in order to staff the Obstetric Unit safely. If your care has been midwifery-led you will continue to be able to have a midwifery-led birth on the Obstetric Delivery Suite.

Yes. You are able to have one birth partner with you providing that they do not have any symptoms themselves or are required to be self-isolating.

  • If your birth partner has any symptoms they will not be allowed to accompany you so please ensure that you have a second birth partner identified.

Yes – we are able to offer a homebirth service. This may change due to many factors such as staff absence due to illness. When this happens we do try and cover the rota but sometimes this is not possible and therefore we occasionally have to temporarily suspend the home birth service.

Yes – If you request a homebirth this will be discussed with you and an individual plan of care developed with you as homebirth isn’t recommended for all women. We will discuss the options with you, including the recommendations for place of birth based on your individual circumstances and support you with your choice.

Water birth remains an option providing that you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19. If you have other risk factors in your pregnancy your midwife will discuss this in more detail with you

You will be called the day before your operation to check whether you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of COVID-19. If you report that either you do or someone in your house does your notes will be reviewed and a doctor will call you to inform you of the plan.

See the RCOG website for details about Caesarean section.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and you have either a planned or an emergency Caesarean section there will be additional precautions that will need to be implemented to protect the staff. This will mean that your operation may take longer than usual as the staff will all need to be wearing full PPE for the procedure.

If both you and your birth partner are well with no symptoms and no reason to self-isolate then your birth partner will be able to accompany you to theatre if they wish.

If you are symptomatic your birth partner will not be able to accompany you to theatre. This is due to the extra precautions we need to put in place to protect staff and also your birth partner as the operation may involve aerosol generating procedures which are known to significantly increase the risk of transmission. You will be well supported by your midwife.

You will be encouraged to go home as soon as you are able to do so. This may be straight from the delivery suite or it may be from the ward of you were transferred there after the birth for any reason.

This will depend upon the type of birth that you have had and also whether your pregnancy or labour was complicated by any medical conditions which need further observation. Sometimes, we need to perform regular observations on your baby and your midwife will advise you if this is the case. In these circumstances we recommend that you stay on the ward so that we can take care of you and your baby.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are self-isolating your will remain on Delivery Suite in a single birth room until your transfer home. This may be for a day or so depending upon your condition.

Birth partners are not currently being allowed to visit any area of the maternity unit except Delivery Suite when their birth partner is in labour. Therefore, your birth partner cannot accompany you to the ward. We realise that this is very difficult for you but is in line with the national NHS visiting policy at this time. Staff will be on hand to support you during your stay.

Your midwife will provide you with a parent information leaflet if your baby needs to be admitted to the Neonatal Unit.

The medical and nursing teams will involve you and your partner in your baby’s plan of care and will keep you up to date with any proposed changes to care. These conversations can be completed face to face or via telephone contact.

Visiting arrangements are slightly different depending on which area of the neonatal unit your baby is being cared for and how much care your baby requires.

Prior to visiting the team will ask you a number of questions concerning Covid-19 to understand if you or anyone within your home has any symptoms of the virus or are self-isolated.  These questions are protect all babies and staff in the neonatal unit.

If you or the family have no symptoms and your baby is in special care, visiting is limited to 2 designated visitors, with only one visiting at any one time.

If your baby is receiving High Dependency or Intensive Care, then there are further restrictions for visiting to protect your baby and others, visiting in these areas is two designated visitors, but only one visiting in a 24 hour period.

In exceptional circumstances, visiting will be discussed between families and the medical and nursing teams. During your visit you will be asked to wear a surgical mask and adhere to strict hand washing. The nursing teams will show you what you need to do.

If you, any family member has symptoms of Covid-19 or are living in a self-isolating household, no visiting is allowed during either the 7 or 14 day period.

If you are unable to visit, the nursing teams will send you pictures of your baby and we have iPads to enable us to keep in touch with you.

   

Prior to discharge you will be given a booklet “After the Birth” which has lots of useful information for you about those first few days and weeks at home with your new baby.

Upon discharge your community midwifery team will be informed that you have gone home.

A community midwife will visit your home the day after your discharge to check that you and your baby are well. Providing all is well your ongoing care will be in a Post Natal clinic when your baby is 3 and 5 days old (noting that the day of birth is day 0).

Prior to each visit the midwife will call to ask:

  • Do you currently have a temperature or new dry cough?
  • Does anyone in your house have any symptoms?

If you reply yes to either of these questions the midwife will advise the next steps for your visit.

On day 3 your baby will be weighed and on day 5 the newborn bloodspot test (heel prick test) will be offered. Any other care such as removal of sutures (stitches) will also be completed.

When your baby is approximately 10 days old, providing all has been well on the previous visits,the midwife will call you to check progress. If all is well this is the point at which your care will be transferred to the Health Visitor. You will not receive another midwifery visit.

If, however, there have been some concerns or any are raised at this call then the midwife will arrange to visit you or ask you to attend a postnatal clinic for further assessment.

The “After the birth” booklet gives details of potentially serious or life threatening illness in both your baby and yourself (page 23 & 25)

In an emergency for either you or your baby call 999 and request the ambulance service

For non-life-threatening concerns with yourself please call maternity triage: 01952 565948 Open every day, 24 hours a day.

For non-life-threatening concerns about your baby please call NHS 111.

For patient information leaflets, including an FAQ about feeding during the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit our main Maternity Page.